Summer can be a wonderful time for rest and relaxation, but also to reset yourself and start afresh. Less stress presents the perfect opportunity to develop healthy habits and coping skills. We've got a few tips for you:
1. Go on an information diet
The "diet" concept fits this situation perfectly. A healthy food diet eliminates sources of extra calories and concentrates on nutritious ones. You simply eat better rather than cutting back. Similar to this, in a healthy information diet you need to keep away from unnecessary information that only distracts you and scatters your brain, and focus on that one that does you good.
A complete “digital detox” might not be feasible for everyone (who can live without their phones now a days?). But a low-information diet hits the spot. It simply restricts information to the essentials, or to information that is truly important and useful to you.
2. Clear your head with mindfulness
Mindfulness is a great tool to unclutter your mind. It helps us train our mind and body to be at the same place at the same time.
Instead of checking social media or email first thing in the morning, try an activity that will help you wake up feeling centred instead of already behind or in a rush. Morning mindfulness meditation is the perfect way to start the day. It can gently release grogginess and help set the conditions for a productive day. It can also help you stop ruminating about anything that is nagging you, what happened in the past or what’s going to happen in the future. If you need help getting started with meditation, our practitioner Dino can help!
Another great way to fit in mindfulness in your morning routine is to simply take a mindful shower. In a purely symbolic manner, it can help you wash away your worries and negative thoughts. Notice the water temperature, how it touches your skin, the sound of the water… Try adding a few drops of eucalyptus essential oil to your shower to enhance the experience!
3. Work on your personal boundaries
Healthy boundaries are beneficial not only for us but also our relationships. Think about all the times you say 'yes' when you really want to say 'no', or you say 'it's fine' when you don't mean it 100%. Next time the situation arises, stop! If you need some time to think about it, simply respond ‘can I think about this?’– and then decide what you could like to do.
Are you saying 'yes' because you don't want to upset your friend? Or because you feel you should? Then go back and practise saying no. You will stop accustoming people to your agreableness and they will learn to respect your boundaries.
4. Move your body, change your mind
If there is an activity you enjoy doing and it gets your body moving, then make sure you schedule it in regularly over the break. The key here is finding an activity you enjoy - this could be as simple as building more walking into your day - just keep it achievable and regular. Here are 5 mental health benefits of exercise:
- Improves mood. If you've ever worked out, you're undoubtedly well aware of how effective movement is at elevating your mood
- Reduces tension and anxiety
- Gives you more energy and better sleep
- Improved mental clarity
- Helps improve self esteem
5. Drop the Shoulds
Now more than ever, exercise your freedom to choose! Drop saying should and ask yourself what you really want and choose to do.
This does not mean letting you have carte blanche to do whatever you please without considering others or going off the moral hook. Reflect on the rules you impose on yourself. Decide if they are someone else’s expectations of you rather than your own.
What feels right for you? Take some time and ask yourself: What do I really want? How can I achieve it? What’s the right way for me?
Reach out for extra support if you need it
Professional advice can help you make effective changes in your life. Our counsellor Rinat has extensive training and experience working across a range of issues.